In the Opening Plenary for TNC18 the Vietsch Foundation’s Medal of Honour was awarded to Ingrid Melve of Unit (the Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research) and Licia Florio of GÉANT.

Ingrid Melve, Unit 

For more than 20 years, Ingrid Melve has led the introduction of new technologies into research and education, bringing a practical perspective to sometimes arcane technical discussions. After early investigations into how universities could make effective use of web caches, she worked on national and international deployments of federated access management. She then led the first effort by any European research network to help universities and colleges with their internal infrastructure, covering video-conferencing, lecture capture, on-line examinations and much more.

Throughout her career, Ingrid has been generous in sharing her knowledge with the community, entertaining and informing audiences at many TERENA and GÉANT conferences, as well as contributing greatly to conference organisation.

Ingrid said: “Receiving the Vietsch award is an honour. I would like to thank the Norwegian universities for their commitment to innovate digital practices; and Uninett, the research network capable and willing to support innovation. I believe in the power of small things, and practical solutions. Our community is relentlessly collaborating to make, share and practise digital solutions for education and research.”

Licia Florio, GÉANT 

Licia Florio joined TERENA in 2001. Working in the area of Trust and Identity she has led or guided most of the initiatives that make up the current European and global Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure for R&E. Having supported the Task Forces that produced the eduroam (federated access to wireless networks) pilot and led to the technical infrastructure for eduGAIN (federated authentication system), she initiated the EuroCAMP workshops.

Licia led the TERENA Certificate Service which has greatly reduced the price of digital certificates for R&E organisations across Europe, and the TACAR project which facilitates trust between certificates issued for R&E purposes across the globe. Such activities require coordination beyond Europe and she has provided continuing leadership throughout the life of the REFEDS activity developing compatible federation policies and practices.

Currently Licia leads the AARC project which continues to help research organisations to deploy federated access. Licia said: “It’s a great honour to receive this medal. It means a lot to me as I had the pleasure to work with Karel Vietsch for many years. I’m grateful to Karel for the many things he taught me and for his constructive criticism.”

About the Vietsch Foundation 

The Vietsch Foundation was officially established on 28 February 2014 by the will of the late Karel Willem Vietsch, former Secretary General of TERENA. As a charity (ANBI) under Dutch law, the foundation is capable of making and receiving grants that satisfy the objectives and purpose of the organisation: to support research and development of advanced internet technology for scientific research and higher education. The Board of Trustees of the Vietsch Foundation are the custodians of the foundation assets and core values and implement them by funding initiatives and projects that have the greatest potential impact with minimal cost.

The grants are provided for projects developing innovative technologies, services or approaches that enhance the use of internet technology in support of research and higher education, but also for original studies and reports that will inform the more effective use of internet technologies in research and higher education. Finally, funding may also be provided to assist in the preparation of bids to other funding bodies for projects in the foundation’s areas of interest.

To learn more, visit http://www.vietsch-foundation.org/